TEMPE, Ariz. – The Arizona State University football team will wear a No. 33 “Whizzer” White jersey patch all season to honor the memory of late Sun Devil football star Wilford “Whizzer” White, who passed away this past August.
Sun Devil Athletics will also hold a moment of silence tonight at approximately the 13-minute mark on the game clock prior to the singing of the national anthem at the season opener against Sacramento State at 7 p.m. at Sun Devil Stadium.
“As a great Sun Devil ambassador and ASU’s first true football superstar, Whizzer was very important to both the football program and the school as a whole,” head coach Todd Graham said. “It is our duty to honor the legacies of those who came before us and this patch is a way for us to keep him in our thoughts throughout the 2013 season.”
White, a charter inductee into both the ASU Sports Hall of Fame and the Sun Devil Ring of Honor, was a running back from 1947-50 and finished his career as the school’s all-time leading rusher with 3,173 yards.
His No. 33 was retired by the school and is one of only five numbers retired and taken out of use.
A pioneering legend that paved the way for much of the football program’s success in the late 1950s, 60s and 70s, White was the school’s first football star as he rose to national prominence during his All-American season in 1950.
He led the program to nine wins for the first time in school history and defeated Arizona for the second consecutive year after losses to the Wildcats in the previous 11 meetings.
White, who was born in Mesa on Sept. 26, 1928, and attended Mesa High School, was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the third round of the 1951 NFL Draft.